Aquasox Season Getting Off to a Rough Start

I had tentative plans to go up to Everett last Friday to see a game, but was unable to make it. I heard there was a lot of rain, so I would not have been happy with that (one of several reasons I don’t get into football as a live event is because of the weather during the winter here), but it looks like the Sox are not starting out on a very good foot this season. They are in third place so far at .250, while the Spokane Indians have been tearing a 4-0 swath through short season single A. I had hoped to see Alex Jackson on the roster, like Mike Zunino was when he got drafted, but no dice so far. It looks like we have some time though, while Jackson’s agent (if you say his name three times he will appear) haggles with the organization until (or possibly after, signing and trade deadlines in baseball are so flexible) everyone comes to a number they are happy with. When he makes it – if he makes it – to Everett, I will make more of an effort to drive up and see him. Until that point, my schedule is pretty full of Mariners games and other extracurriculars this month, so I might have to lay low until July. But I do miss it up there, and have fun every time I go, so I am looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, this happened last night, summary courtesy of Connor Madden, with the Sox Media Relations team:

EVERETT, Wash. – One bad inning spoiled an otherwise quality start by Noel De La Cruz and the Hillsboro Hops tacked on some insurance runs against the Everett AquaSox bullpen to roll to a 7-3 victory at Everett Memorial Stadium Monday night. After winning 3-2 on opening night, Everett has now dropped three games in a row and has not held a lead at any point in those contests.

For the fourth straight game, the Hops jumped out to a lead in the first inning, plating four runs against De La Cruz (0-1). Todd Glaesmann continued his hot streak, crushing a first-pitch breaking ball over the batter’s eye in center for a two-run homer. Cesar Carrasco then reached on an error by third baseman Chris Mariscal and Grant Hayman singled before a pair of wild pitches by De La Cruz brought home Carrasco and moved Hayman to third. After Nate Robertson walked, the Hops executed a first-and-third double steal, with Hayman coming in to score when catcher Kyle Petty threw down to second base, making it 4-0 Hops.

The Frogs’ starter settled down after that and blanked the Hillsboro Hops over the next five innings. De La Cruz allowed five hits over 6.0 innings, just two after the first, and surrendered four runs, three earned, while striking out five and walking one. In the third inning, Seattle Mariners’ third round pick Austin Cousino, making his pro debut after arriving in Everett yesterday, homered leading off the third inning for Everett, trimming the lead to 4-1. It was his first professional hit and home run.

Glaesmann knocked in a run in the seventh with an RBI single off reliever Troy Scott that scored Pedro Ruiz to make it 5-1. It was Glaesmann’s sixth RBI of the series. The outfielder has batted .471 (8-17) over the first four games with Everett, with four doubles and two homers.

Everett got within three at 5-2 in the home half of the seventh. Luke Guarnaccia singled, moved to third on a couple of wild pitches by Alex Byo, and scored on shortstop Justin Gonzalez’ throwing error. But Gonzalez made up for the miscue with a two-run homer in the Hillsboro eighth, a shot over the manual scoreboard in right-center off Scott. Gonzalez’ first home run as a pro pushed the lead to 7-2.

The Frogs got a run in the bottom half of the inning after Bryan Brito, who entered the game as a defensive replacement for Mariscal, singled and scored on a groundout by Wilton Martinez. But that would be it for the ‘Sox, as Cody Geyer worked a scoreless ninth for Hillsboro and sent Everett to a third straight loss at home.

Nick Baker (1-0) got the win for the Hops. He worked 3.0 scoreless innings of relief, surrendering just one hit while striking out three. Brent Jones, who was taken by the Diamondbacks in the fourth round out of Cornell this month, got the start for Hillsboro. He went 3.0 innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out four. Glaesmann was 2-5 with three RBI.

A day after striking out 17 times, the AquaSox cut that number to 10 Monday, but the Frogs continued to struggle offensively, stranding 15 men on base and managing only six hits. Mariscal collected a hit in his third straight game, singling in the first. Taylor Smart got his second straight start and picked up his first hit as a pro on bloop single to right field in the fifth.

The AquaSox and Hops conclude their series tomorrow as Everett attempts to salvage another win and end its three-game slide. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05. Dan Altavilla will make his AquaSox and pro debut when he takes the mound. Scott Schultz, of Gig Harbor, will make his first professional start for the Hops.

I really would like to get down to Portland to see the Hops as well. I have heard the stadium there is really nice, and it would be kind of neat to see some baseball in my hometown area – even though I would have to go to Hillsboro to do it. Maybe I should figure out a weekend I can make it down there, visit some family and friends, eat some hotdogs, root for Portland…well, let’s not get too crazy…

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